The other week we presented a review of recent scientific research and discoveries that were made in Slovenia, so this week we thought we’d point to some of the work on the humanities that you can find online.
The Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana (Filozofska fakulteta Univerze v Ljubljani) currently publishes 15 academic journals, and makes each edition freely available as a PDF. These include Acta Neophilologica (promoting scholarly articles on English and American literature, on other literatures written in English as well as on German and Romance literatures), Documenta Praehistorica (a yearly journal of archaeological interdisciplinary scientific research), Keria (covering all fields of Greek and Latin studies), The Musicological Annual (with publishing papers from various fields of musicology and ethnomusicology), Slovenščina 2.0: empirical, applied and interdisciplinary research (presenting theoretical and interdisciplinary research on the Slovene language, and perhaps most interesting to readers of TSN) and Verba Hispanica (on linguistics and literature in Spanish). The full list is here, and although not every article is published in English there’s plenty to explore if you’re looking for some insight into what’s happening at this part of the University.
Beyond journals the Faculty also publishes books. Again, not everything is in English – this is the University of Ljubljana – but there’s plenty to browse and PDF versions are available for free.
To give some taste of the variety, there’s 101 ENGLISH TIPS: A Quick Guide to Avoiding “Slovenglish” (plus volume 2) in the English Language & Literature section, Sounds of Attraction: Yugoslav and Post-Yugoslav Popular Music in Ethnology & Cultural Anthropology, and Dictionary of Modern Slovene: Problems and Solutions in Translation Studies, Among the Slavs in Slavistics, with the full list of publications here.
STA, 9 December 2019 – The British business newspaper the Financial Times has ranked the University of Ljubljana's School of Economics and Business among the 95 best business schools in Europe for the second consecutive time [at 89]. The faculty sees this achievement as a recognition of its quality in the international arena.
The Financial Times has thus put Slovenia on the map of top-quality business education, said the Ljubljana-based faculty when it first made the cut.
The ranking requires having at least one of the top international accreditations - the AACSB and EQUIS-accredited Ljubljana school has both as well as the AMBA accreditation, while its International Master in Business programme has been ranked as one of the best business programmes.
The faculty pointed out that its students had at their disposal exchange programmes at five foreign business schools which had also made the grade, including French KEDGE, Norwegian BI, French Audencia, Portuguese ISCTE and French ESSCA.
The Ljubljana School of Economics and Business also hosts a PhD summer school programme along with the Swiss St. Gallen University business school, which traditionally ranks among top four schools according to the Financial Times. It also takes part in the EUTOPIA partnership of six European universities.
STA, 3 December 2019 - The University of Ljubljana, Slovenia's largest institution of higher learning, is celebrating its centenary with a series of events that culminated on Tuesday, the day exactly 100 years ago when the first lecture was delivered in the Slovenian language.
The university awarded out a doctorate to Kenneth Brian Frampton of Columbia University in New York today and will hold a special ceremony in the evening when it will receive the Order of Merit for Distinguished Service from President Borut Pahor.
The university started out with five founding members - the faculties of arts, medicine, law, technology and theology - after King Alexander signed a law establishing what was then the University of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes in Ljubljana.
The first lecture was delivered in the building that remains the seat of the university to this day, the former Carniolan Provincial Court in the centre of Ljubljana, by the linguist Franc Ramovš and the topic was the historical grammar of the Slovenian language.
In the first academic year the university boasted almost a thousand students and by the start of the Second World War enrolment had increased to almost 2,500.
While male students far outnumbered women in the first years, the first person ever to get a doctorate was a woman, Ana Mayer, who received her PhD in chemistry in July 1920.
The university continued to grow after the Second World War and by the 1960s it already had nine faculties. In 1979 it was renamed to Edvard Kardelj University, in honour of the Slovenian Communist ideologue, but in 1990 it reverted to the University of Ljubljana.
After independence, especially under the 1993 higher education act, it transformed into what it describes as a "classical European university," with greater emphasis on scientific research and greater autonomy.
It presently comprises 26 faculties and academies and its 38,000-plus students are enrolled in 158 bachelors', 196 masters' and 21 doctoral programmes ranging from the arts to social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, medicine and law.
"A hundred years later we are a university that has gone beyond national borders and helps build the European university of the future," Chancellor Igor Papič told the STA.
He said the University of Ljubljana ranks among the top three percent of universities in the world, which was "probably unimaginable a century ago, when we were fighting to get the university in the first place and faced constant pressure that it be shut down."
In the latest Shanghai Rankings, considered a benchmark for higher education institutions, the university ranks 501-600, down from 401-500 last year.
At the ceremony today Papič said that the university was "in excellent shape". While it wants better financing, it is glad it does not currently have problems paying salaries. The main challenge at the moment is securing funds for the construction of several new faculty buildings and cutting-edge research equipment.
Two law students from the University of Ljubljana, Katja Grünfeld and Iva Ramuš Cvetkovič, beat more than 100 teams from around the world in the Manfred Lachs Moot Court competition in Washington, DC. In this they put their knowledge of space law and international public law. into practice in order to win a lawsuit on behalf of a hypothetical state for the unlawful appropriation of a lunar base.
The teams put their cases before judges from the International Court of Justice in the championship, which was held between 21 and 25 October as part of the 70th International Astronautical Congress. The team from Slovenia – which consisted of Katja Grünfeld and Iva Ramuš Cvetkovič, Rok Kljajič as coach, and Vasilka Sancin as mentor – had already won the European heats, beating a team from the University of Vienna in the final.
The Manfred Lachs Space Law Moot Court is a competition in space law and international public law organised by the International Institute of Space Law and the European Centre for Space Law. The finals in Washington were in the form of simulated proceedings before the International Court of Justice in the Hague, and with both a written part and a live hearing.
Each team prepared two written memorandums, one for the plaintiff and one for the defendant. In these they presented legal arguments and facts supporting the individual claims addressed to the International Court of Justice in connection with a hypothetical case.
The second-placed team, winners of the African heat, was from the International Law Students Association (ILSA) of the University of Calabar, Nigeria, which included Ebruka Nelly-Helen Neji and Ushie Augustine Eneji.
August 26, 2019
A summer school of philosophy titled “Fail better!” began this Monday with a week of lectures from Slovenia’s most prominent thinkers, also known as the “Ljubljana school of psychoanalysis”. In t week that follows, Mladen Dolar, Alenka Zupančič and Slavoj Žižek will present their views on the foundations of their thought as well as their current work to a maximum of 120 participants from 17 countries, most of whom are coming from Denmark and Germany. The three will meet to give lectures at their Alma Mater, the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana, and the working language of all the events will be English.
Žižek will present a series of lectures titled “Hegel with Neuralink”, which take as their entry point “Neuralink, an American neuro-technological company, founded by Elon Musk and eight others, dedicated to developing a mind-machine interface (MMI)”.
Alenka Zupančič’s lectures are titled “The Real and Its Passions”, which as their “starting and focal point take the concept of the Real that emerged in psychoanalytic theory (Freud, Lacan)”.
Mladen Dolar will be speaking in a series called “What, If Anything, Is the Other?”, which “will attempt to explore the psychoanalytic notion of the big Other, given the paradox that on the one hand it is absolutely necessary and on the other, according to Lacan, it is lacking – how can it be both at the same time?.”
The University of Ljubljana is currently marking it’s 100 anniversary of existence which is being celebrated with 100 various events throughout the year. The summer school of philosophy is perhaps one of the most significant of events due to the global prominence of the authors who are going to present their thoughts together at the place of the beginning of their studies.
For details click here.
STA, 13 August 2019 - Japanese and Slovenian partners signed two agreements in Ljubljana on Tuesday that pave the way for cooperation in development and research of robotised rehabilitation devices.
Fujita Health University signed one of the accords with the University of Ljubljana and the other with the Ljubljana-based URI Soča Rehabilitation Institute, and Toyota Motor Corporation.
The signing was attended by Economy Ministry State Secretary Aleš Cantarutti, who praised it as a major paving stone for further cooperation between Slovenia and Japan in the field.
"Cooperation between Slovenia and Japan has seen tremendous progress in recent years," said Cantarutti, praising the agreements as an "excellent example of cooperation between science and research and business", and a new opportunity to upgrade medical rehabilitation robotics.
Bilateral cooperation was also praised by Japanese Ambassador to Slovenia Masaharu Yoshida, who noted that Fujita Health University was a leading institution in the field in Japan. The university operates Japan's largest university hospital, treating 1.83 million patients a year.
"The agreement signed today will allow us to find a common path in development of rehabilitation robots and, above all, to put them on the market," said Robert Cugelj, director general of URI Soča.
The institute's main goal is to get its expertise and technology into the real world, and sell it. "In this way we generate value added mainly for patients, both those from Slovenia and elsewhere," said Cugelj.
The head of the institute's research and development department, Zlatko Matjačić, presented two projects that formed the basis for cooperation.
One is a rehab robot to train patients how to maintain balance and movement coordination during walking, which is being developed by the Slovenian institute, and the other is a robot developed by Fujita Health University and Toyota.
These are two exoskeletal devices focusing on two different areas. "The Japanese have focused on the leg's function and support during walk, while we're focusing on the integrated function of balance and coordination," Matjačić said.
They would now like to combine their expertise, technology and experience into a now concept to help in the rehabilitation of patients after stroke.
Fujita Health University professor and president Eiichi Saitoh was happy that the university was linking with the world's leading rehabilitation institutions, expressing belief that expertise is expanded and enriched through such cooperation.
Keisuke Suga of Toyota's BR-Medicare hailed the new partnership, which said would help implement Toyota's vision of mobility for all. The department headed by Suga specializes in development and production of devices used in patient rehabilitation.
The Japanese delegation already met Health Ministry State Secretary Simona Repar Bornšek on Monday and will be received along with URI Soča officials by President Borut Pahor on Wednesday.
July 23, 2019
In 1919 Regent Aleksander Karađorđević signed the University in Ljubljana of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes Act. The University’s founding members were the Faculties of Arts, Medicine, Law, Technical and Theology.
In the first study year of 1919/20, 942 students were enrolled at the University of Ljubljana, 914 men and 28 women. Although men dominated in numbers, the first doctoral degree was, however, awarded to a woman, which was quite unusual in Europe at the time. The first University of Ljubljana PhD was earned by Ana Mayer on July 15 for her successful defence of a doctoral thesis titled “On Formalin's Effects on Starch”. However, between the wars the University remained very conservative with regard to the acceptance of women, who nevertheless never gave up trying to gain admission.
Women make up more than half of the 37,800 students enrolled at the University of Ljubljana today. With 23 faculties and three art academies all areas of study are covered, from the sciences, social sciences and humanities to the arts, technology and medical science. Various ranking lists place the University of Ljubljana among the top 3% of the best universities in the world.
STA, 11 July 2019 - Although there are no courses and exams at Slovenian universities during the summer break, several faculties organise a number of activities, with summer schools for students from around the globe becoming increasingly popular.
It is the summer schools organised by the University of Ljubljana's Faculty of Economics and Faculty of Arts that have the longest tradition and attract many students.
The Faculty of Economics launched the 20th Ljubljana Summer School this week, termed Take the Best from East and West.
Interest in it growing, so over 400 students from more than 90 higher education establishments from almost 40 countries are attending.
While the first summer school in 2000 featured 35 students from five countries, the faculty has hosted more than 4,000 students since then.
This year's three-week programme features 30 internationally acclaimed lecturers teaching 25 courses.
The faculty says its summer school is one of the largest summer schools of business and economics in Europe.
Courses, held in English, are also open to Slovenian students and all those who wish to improve their knowledge of various aspects of economics.
While one segment offers graduate and post-graduate courses in business, economic and business law, and business English, the other one focuses on Slovenian culture.
Apart from getting an unforgettable experience, students take an exam at the end of the summer school to get additional credit points they can use at their faculties.
Having just completed the the Faculty of Social Sciences' summer school, Angelika Lomat, a Belarus studying in Poland, says it was an exceptional experience.
The 4th Academia Aestiva Internationalis, which was attended by 20 students from eleven countries, was her first summer school "an experience I'd like to repeat".
"It was an incredible opportunity to meet experts from different areas and share your own experience with students from other countries," she has told the STA.
The Faculty of Arts, or its Centre for Slovenian as a Second and Foreign Language, has organised the Slovenian language summer school for the 38th year running.
More than 100 foreigners from 32 countries could choose a two- or a four-week Slovenian language course to improve their reading, writing and speaking skills.
The faculty's department of Slavic studies meanwhile organised the 55th seminar of Slovenian language, literature and culture.
Since the century of the University of Ljubljana and of Prekmurje's reunification with Slovenia is observed in 2019, the seminar's focus is on 1919 as reflected in the language and culture.
The seminar has brought together students, university teachers, Slavic studies experts, translators and other scholars from 26 countries.
Slovenian language courses are also organised at the University of Primorska, which is based in the coastal town of Koper.
Its Faculty of Humanities has organised the 26th summer course of Slovenian language dubbed Hallo, Slovenia's Mediterranean Calling!, offering not only language studies and an insight into Slovenian culture but also two relaxed weeks at the seaside.
STA, 20 May 2019 - Reviving the new national library project that has been in the planning stages since 1989 and last saw a seven-year hiatus, Education and Science Minister Jernej Pikalo signed on Monday an annex to the contract for the building's design documents. Estimating the entire project at EUR 50 million, Pikalo expects the funding sources will be mixed.
Signing the annex with the Bevk Perović architecture bureau, which won the competition for the new building in 2012, the minister did not wish to risk a prognosis on when NUK II, meant to supplement the existing library, would be built.
He said the annex was an important step, but added "we will only be happy when the building actually stands".
Pikalo, who hopes that the building permit can already be obtained next year, pointed out that the new National and University Library had already been in the making for years.
While the presently valid systemic act for the project was adopted in 1994, plans for the building, located on an archaeological site, go back even further.
In a 1989 competition the design of architect Marko Mušič was selected for the building, but later dismissed as outdated.
After almost EUR 30 million spent on preparations, the then government decided in 2009 to end all contracts related to the project and published an international competition in 2011, which was won by Bevk Perović Arhitekti.
The costs of the design documents amount to roughly EUR 2 million. With EUR 350,000 already paid for the conceptual design in 2013, the value of the annex singed today is about EUR 1.6 million, Pikalo said. EUR 200,000 were contributed by the Culture Ministry while the rest falls under the Education, Science and Sports Ministry.
The value of the entire project is EUR 50 million. Pikalo, who believes this is the start of a long but right path, said there were different possibilities of financing.
One would entail changes to the 1994 act, another option are EU funds and yet another the funds from the so called Juncker Plan or the European Fund for Strategic Investments. In the end, the sources are bound to be mixed, the minister announced.
Pikalo spoke of a dynamic and activities-based new library that would provide more room for exchange of views and for cooperation.
The 2012 jury described the Bevk Perović design as one that does not consider only the architectural and archaeological context of the building, but presents the new library as the focal point of the network of university facilities and the city's life as a whole.
Bearing in mind the needs of the majority users of the new library, students, the authors opened up the building to the Ljubljana Faculty of Arts, by placing the main entrance to the side of the building facing the faculty.
The other entrance to the library connects the building with the old National and University Library, built in 1941 on the basis of a design by Slovenia's most celebrated architect Jože Plečnik (1872-1957).
A total of 77 teams competed in the 2018-2019 Textron Aviation/Raytheon Missile Systems/AIAA Foundation Student Design/Build/Fly (DBF) Competition, held April 11-14, at the Tucson International Modelplex Park Association (TIMPA) Airfield, Tucson, Arizona. Fifty-six teams were from within the United States, while 21 came from abroad, including the winning team – from the University of Ljubljana. In second place was the ream from Georgia Tech, while third place was taken by Austria's FH Joanneum of Applied Sciences.
The team of 17 students from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering took part in it under the mentorship of Dr. Viktor Šajn, and was led by the engineering student Timotej Hofbauer. The group chose to build the aircraft entirely from composites with the help from sponsors Pipistrel, Akrapovič, and Zavod404.
Speaking about the project, and quoted on the University’s website, Hofbauer said: “We have been building the aircraft for more than half a year and committed more than 2000 hours of work to it. We succeeded in building an incredibly fast and light composite aircraft that can reach speeds of over 100 km/h and is capable of flying at the competitive speed for more than 10 minutes. The aircraft, ready to fly, weighs approximately 9 kg, of which 35 % constitute the batteries alone. It can carry 18 “bombs” and has a wing span of 2.5 meters.”
As noted in the related press release from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Foundation, “the DBF competition encourages and recognises excellence in aerospace engineering skills at the undergraduate and graduate levels by challenging teams to design and fabricate a radio-controlled aircraft conforming to strict guidelines, submit a written report about the aircraft's design, and fly their aircraft over a defined course while carrying a payload and landing it without damage. This year, the design simulated a multi-purpose aircraft to support carrier operations.”
More photos from this year’s event can be seen here, while the following video (from 2018) gives a flavour of the event.